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1 About This Document

This file contains guidelines and advice for someone who is the maintainer of a GNU program on behalf of the GNU Project. Everyone is entitled to change and redistribute GNU software; you need not pay attention to this file to get permission. But if you want to maintain a version for widespread distribution, we suggest you follow these guidelines. If you are or would like to be a GNU maintainer, then it is essential to follow these guidelines.

In addition to this document, please read and follow the GNU Coding Standards (see Contents in GNU Coding Standards). You may also usefully check the “Tips for new GNU maintainers” (, a list of the most important things you will need to do as a new maintainer.

Please send corrections or suggestions for this document to If you make a suggestion, please include suggested new wording if you can. We prefer a context diff to the Texinfo source, but if that’s difficult for you, you can make a diff for some other version of this document, or propose it in any way that makes it clear. The source repository for this document can be found at

If you want to receive diffs for every change to these GNU documents, join the mailing list, for instance via the web interface at Archives are also available there.

This document uses the gender-neutral third-person pronouns “person” (which can be shortened to “perse”), “per”, “pers” and “perself.” These pronouns (aside from “perse”) were promoted, and perhaps invented, by Marge Piercy in Woman on the Edge of Time. They are used just like “she”, “her”, “hers” and “herself”, except that they apply regardless of gender. For example, “Person placed per new program under the GNU GPL, to maintain freedom for all users of per work, and this way perse knows perse has done the right thing.”

This release of the GNU Maintainer Information was last updated April 24, 2020.

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